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FIRST-TIME USERS:  If you want to avoid confusion and frustration in using the GNDBs, read the descriptions of the search options below and the Search Guidelines.  Once you understand these (it's easy!), you can go directly to Search the GNDBs.

This example shows the fifteen fields in the Lithuania record for the Hebrew name YEHUDA LEYB:

  Gender            M
  Legal/Hebrew Name Yehuda haMechune Leyb\Leyba
  Origin            Genesis 29:35
  Yiddish Names     Ihuda/Yehida/Yehuda//Leb/Leyb
  Yiddish Nicknames Yidele/Yidl/Yodka/Yude/Yudka/Yudl/Yudya/Yutke//
  Origin            Leb from Yiddish/German "lion"
  Secular Names     Leo/Lyuba/Yulyus
  Secular Nicknames

  US Names          Isidore/Judah/Julius/Yidel//Leo/Leon/Leonard/Louis
  US Nicknames      Sol
  UK Names          Julius//Lewis/Louis
  UK Nicknames
  South Africa      Alfred/Israel/Judah/Julius/Levi/Louis//Leo/Leopold/Lewis
  SA Nicknames      Udie

All records contain NAME-ONLY fields (like "Yiddish Names") with all names delimited by the character "/".  There are also two types of TEXT fields: the "Legal/Hebrew Name" field and the "Origin" fields both containing names delimited by the character "\".  The "Gender" field contains only an "M" or "F" -- no names.  Thus, (1) you can search for a specific name inside name-only and all-text fields using a "Global TEXT Search", or (2) you can search for a specific name using "sounds-like" Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex.  These two options also contain aids like logical "AND" and "OR", and the ability to specify beginning letters for a name (e.g., Yeh* would find Yehuda as well as Yehudis in Global Text Search).

Global Text Search of ALL Fields does exactly what it says -- it looks for an input search name as is, wherever it appears, without regard to the delimiters, and it does this throughout the entire set of fields (name-only fields and text fields).  You can search using the exact spelling of a name or the first few letters of the name.

Global Text Search (option one) allows the use of logical constructs like AND/OR (DM Soundex does not).  If you use "Alter OR Moshe" or "Moshe OR Alter" with option one in the Lithuania GNDB, then you will find seven results in both cases -- the two Alter's, the three Moshe's, and an additional two Moshe's found in text.  The search engine seeks the two names wherever they may be in the record.

D-M Soundex (option two) searching can be very effective in finding names for which you do not know the exact spelling (for whatever reason).  It will find all names which SOUND LIKE the name which you enter, because they all have the same DM-Soundex code.  On the one hand, it helps overcome your lack of knowledge of the "correct" spelling of the name, or how it might be spelled in the data base using the GNDB standard.  On the other hand, it may find lots of names in which you are not interested.  DM Soundexing sometimes produces two different codes for one given name.

The only possible modification with DM Soundexing is the use of square brackets [ ].  For example, in the Lithuania GNDB, searching on "Moshe" will lead to 29 records retrieved, but using [Mo]she to search will yield only 16 records -- you are limiting the search to only those hits which begin with the exact letters "Mo", but which have the desired DM Soundex code for Moshe.  You should experiment with this scheme and learn its advantages and limitations.

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The two available search options then are:

1. Global TEXT Search of ALL Fields, ignoring delimiters
2. Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex

Under option one, you can use an all-inclusive asterisk "*" to represent any letters of the alphabet.  This very useful capability allows you to search exactly for the beginning of a name in cases where you are not sure how the whole name is spelled.

For example, consider the Yiddish name NOTL, as it is transcribed using the YIVO (Yidisher Visnshaftlekher Institut) standard, but which you think could be Notel or Nottel or Notell. If you try "Notel", "Nottel", or "Notell" using option one in the Lithuania GNDB, you will find no hits -- these spellings do not exist in the data base.  But if you try "Not*" using option one, you will find six hits -- five for the Hebrew name Nasan (for which Notl is a kinui) and one for the Legal/Hebrew name Note (for which Notl is a kinui).

Another example:  MOSHE.  If you try "Moshe" as the search input using option one in the Lithuania GNDB, you will find five hits -- three for Moshe including its double names, and two for Moshe used in the "Origin" field where it is referred to in text.  If you try "Mos*" using option one, you will find the same five hits.  If you try "Mo*" using option one, you will find that the search engine will not accept your input, stating that you must use at least three characters in this way.

You should experiment with these variations to learn how they work best.

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